Stipe Miocic eyeing UFC 285 winner and a July return

Aug 16, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Stipe Miocic during weigh ins for UFC 241 at Anaheim Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC made waves over the weekend when they announced that Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane would be fighting for the vacant heavyweight title on March 4th. One very interested party in the entire situation is former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (20-4).

Miocic hasn’t fought since UFC 260 in March of 2021 where he lost the heavyweight title to Ngannou. He’s taken some personal time off and now the former heavyweight champion is geared up and ready to return. Miocic tweeted out that he likes the fight on March 4th and he wants the winner in July.

My guess is that this lines up perfectly for the UFC. Jones and Gane will fight in March and if possible, Stipe Miocic might be in attendance. While he hasn’t fought in nearly two years, no one is more deserving of a title fight upon their return.

UFC’s Plans

While nothing is even remotely official, the word is that the UFC wants Conor McGregor to return in July to headline International Fight Week. However, there are multiple contingency plans if McGregor isn’t ready to return by July.

One option is the rematch between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya. However, that fight might go down before July gets here. Stipe Miocic returning to fight either Jon Jones or Ciryl Gane for the UFC heavyweight title would sure be enough to headline the card.

However, a lot will come down to how the fight goes down in March. If it’s an absolute war with both men suffering injuries, I couldn’t see the UFC pushing things back to the fall. However, four months is perfect if the winner comes out of the fight with minimal damage.

Jon Jones just signed a new eight-fight deal so he wants to be active. There’s a decent chance we see a heavyweight title fight featuring Stipe Miocic headlining the July PPV.